Finally someone has been held responsible for a sizable oil spill in Louisiana and sentenced to a jail term for the environmental degradation caused by the accident.
But it is not anyone who worked for BP, Transocean or Halliburton. Nope, it is one Randall Dantin, 46, of Marrero, Louisiana, who is going to jail for 21 months for his role in an accident on the Mississippi River that spilled 283,000 gallons of fuel oil into the river in the heart of New Orleans in July 2008.
The Gulf spilled close to 5 million gallons. To-date, no one involved in that spill has been charged with a crime.
I was in New Orleans when that 2008 accident happened, and watched as the spilled fuel oil quickly coated the river and its banks for 80 miles, all the way to Venice, LA, shutting down New Orleans access to drinking water for nearly a week.
After a two-and-a-half-year investigation by the Coast Guard, responsibility for the accident goes to a “sleep-deprived” tugboat driver who was pushing a barge loaded with oil across the river when it was errantly t-boned by a tanker coming down the Mississippi.
(For the rest of my dispatch, go to takepart.com)